Bone density is one of those things we hear a lot about but not sure how to help it. Maintaining dense bones as we age seems simple and fairly passive but there are things we can all do to help maintain dense bones. Doroski Chiropractic Neurology in the Woodbridge, Dale City Virginia wants to provide you with some information that should help.
Osteoporosis has become an epidemic in the United States. About 10 million people, mostly women, suffer from this chronic condition, which leads to debilitating and life-threatening fractures. What’s worse, while 34 million people now have low bone mass, by 2010, the number is expected to climb to 52 million.
Research points to lifestyle and diet as the reasons for the increase. The bony structure is built in childhood—and weight-bearing physical activity and proper nutrition are essential. Today’s children, however, spend most of their time sitting in front of TV sets or computer monitors and drink calcium-robbing sodas, predisposing themselves to osteoporosis. Talk to your patients about osteoporosis prevention.
- Because osteoporosis is painless until a fracture actually occurs, bone density screening should be done every two years to help diagnose the disease early on.
- Bone loss is irreversible and can only be stabilized, not improved, unless one uses a medication, such as Fosamax. Medications, however, usually come with various side effects.
- Your doctor of chiropractic can help you prevent the development or progression of osteoporosis naturally—through diet, supplementation, exercise, and lifestyle changes.
- Exercise for at least 20 minutes three times a week. Exercise puts stress on the bone and helps it strengthen and remodel.
- Tai chi, a form of martial arts, and other weight-bearing activities, such as jogging, walking, stair climbing, playing racquet sports, aerobics and dancing, can also be beneficial. These exercises improve flexibility and balance, reducing the risk of falling and fractures.
- Resistance activities that increase muscle mass and strengthen bones, such as weightlifting, are generally recommended. However, if you have had a fracture, fall frequently or have osteoporosis, consult with your healthcare provider before starting the exercise program.
- Spend time outdoors. Exposure to sunlight increases your level of vitamin D—a necessary element for calcium absorption of calcium, which prevents osteoporosis development.
Nutrition and Supplementation
- Decrease consumption of foods high in phosphorus, such as soda, potato chips, hot dogs, bacon, beer, biscuits, crackers, white rice, liver, bologna, and peanuts. Too much phosphorus decreases absorption of calcium and other minerals and weakens the bone.
- Good sources of calcium are milk, cheese, yogurt, broccoli, kale, spinach and rhubarb. Use highly absorbable calcium supplements, such as microcrystalline hydroxyapatite concentrate (MCHC), or one of the malates, fumarates, succinates, glutarates or citrates. But don’t overdo it. Excess calcium may cause kidney stones, so ask your healthcare provider about your individual supplement amount.
- Check with your healthcare provider to determine whether you are getting enough vitamin D (at least 800 IU per day).
- Adding zinc (15 mg/day), copper (2 mg/day), manganese (5 mg/day), and magnesium (250-600 mg/day) has also helped prevent bone loss.
- Fat-soluble vitamin K (1,000 mcg a day) may also be essential for optimal preservation of bone mass and for fracture prevention.
- Consuming soy isoflavones from soy foods, soy protein products and/or soy isoflavone supplements may also be of benefit.
- Be careful when bending and lifting heavy objects, including children. When lifting, bend from the knees, not the waist, and try to avoid hunching over while sitting or standing.
- Remove throw rugs, electrical cords and other objects you may trip on from the areas where you walk.
- Several medications can affect bone health, so consult a drug reference database or a local pharmacist to identify problem medications in time to find bone-mass-friendly alternatives.
- Get screened for health conditions that increase risk of bone loss, such as celiac disease and thyroid disease.
- Avoid smoking, excessive alcohol use, high salt and high animal protein intake, and other unhealthful lifestyle and dietary choices.
Doroski Chiropractic Neurology
3122 Golansky Blvd, Ste 102
Woodbridge VA 22192
703 730 9588